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Republicans Criticize Budget "Shell" Game



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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, March 22, 2012
It's been a common practice over the last decade.  But now, with their votes no longer necessary to pass a spending plan, Republicans are objecting.
 

Passing these empty "spot" or "shell" bills traditionally sets the stage for the final budget down the road.  The bills are amended when a deal is struck.  Until recently, both parties were in on those negotiations because a budget required a two-thirds vote.  But now, Proposition 25 lets majority Democrats act alone - and Republicans see red flags.  Assemblyman Jim Nielsen says Democrats will use those bills to make major budget and policy decisions at the last minute - with no time for Republicans, or the public, to review.

Nielsen: "It is a gross perversion of the legislative process, and a disgrace to the entire institution."

Democrats say it's Republicans who aren't taking the process seriously by skipping budget hearings and signing a "no tax" pledge.

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